Kellogg EMBA … Wall Street, Hedge Funds and Private Equity

Prof. David Stowell is the closest thing you can get to a rock star in a B-School. Why? Just Google his name and find out. Oh well, here goes… from Kellogg’s Website:

“Prior to joining Kellogg, Professor Stowell worked at JP Morgan as Managing Director and head of Midwest Investment Banking. He also previously worked at UBS Investment Bank as Managing Director and Co-Head of Equity Capital Markets, at Goldman Sachs as Vice President for Corporate Finance and at O’Connor Partners as Managing Director for Equity Derivatives.”

He covered a week of classes on Wall Street, Hedge Funds and Private Equity. What a week. Through classroom discussion and case work, we examined the many issues and implications that arise when these worlds intersect.

While much of classical strategy is rooted in economic theory and models, Prof. Wolcott demonstrated how competitive strategy can be shaped and challenged through financial engineering and activity. Or, even activism.

3 obvious ideas for you to ponder upon …

a) convergence between hedge funds, private equity and investment banking: be ready for the ongoing convergence between these domains. no doubt the global financial system underwent a true transformation in the last 24 months. coming out of it, you can only expect that these worlds will continue to evolve as markets, regulators and you/me figure out what to do about it.

b) financial engineering is here to stay: financial engineering will not go away. innovation is a much needed fuel for growth and dare say, survival. if we dont innovate, we atrophy. so while we might look back at CDO’s and the resultant global meltdown, lets not wish away the reality of innovation in financial engineering. unless we want to go back to the days of pure barter trade, our economic system is too complex and integrated to wish for simplistic solutions with minimal risk from innovation. question is, how can you look ahead to be part of the next wave of innovation?

c) operational engineering: true operational engineering and value-creation is expected to be a large area of focus for private equity firms. with capital invested in portfolio companies desperately seeking return / exit in a soft market, operating leadership is expected to be the next source of value creation. control positions, while important, wont be the defining dimension of success.

clearly, this would mean opportunities for MBA’s and more so senior level folks from Executive MBA programs such as Kellogg’s. Oh, and please, it is “Kellogg” not “Kelloggs” as in the cereal box on your breakfast table. That is one convergence thats not quite right.



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